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Janata Parivar closer to merger, Mulayam to lead from the front

During a meeting held at Yadav’s New Delhi residence, leaders of six off-shoots – Janata Dal (United), Janata Dal (Secular), Samajwadi Party, Indian National Lok Dal and late prime minister Chandrashekhar’s Samajwadi Janata Party – the SP chief was authorised to lay the ground for the merger of all Janata Pariwar parties, in addition to the six present.

The new outfit in all likelihood would emerge before the end of the ongoing winter session of Parliament. The session ends on December 23 and the outfit in making has called for a protest sit-in on December 22 against government’s “failure” to bring back black money stashed abroad, its alleged U-turn on farmers’ issue and rising unemployment.

The move comes with an eye on weaning back the other backward classes votes, which drifted towards the BJP in the last Lok Sabha polls especially in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where JD (U) and Samajwadi Party are respectively in power. These parties have been showing greater collaboration on the floor of the house during the ongoing session of Parliament.

Seeking to dispel any ambiguity as to the proposed merger, former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to reporters that all of them felt there should be “one party” as they have the same philosophy and principles. Asked whether the move to join forces was borne of a ‘fear of Narendra Modi’, Kumar said it that not the case but the aim was to form a platform in the current political atmosphere.

He said that the six parties would like to work in tandem with entities like the Left Front, which would be approached. There are also indications that the conglomerate might look for coordination from another outfit  the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha.

Kumar did not, however, elaborate further. Besides Mulayam and Nitish Kumar, the meeting, which was the second such one in a month, was attended by RJD chief Lalu Prasad, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav, JD(S)’s HD Deve Gowda, INLD’s Dushyant Chautala and SJP’s Kamal Morarka.

Responding to questions on whether the proposed party would contest the upcoming Delhi assembly polls, Kumar said the leaders concentrated on the “national scene” and the talks were not restricted to any particular state.

He said while the parties have been speaking in the same voice on issues of public interest in Parliament, they have decided to hold their first joint action by organising a ‘dharna’ outside its premises here on December 22.


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